ViaBTC Rises: How A Mysterious Miner Could Decide Bitcoin’s Future

By October 20, 2016Bitcoin Business

Bitcoin’s "most professional mining pool" has become its most controversial. Following months of debate over how to scale bitcoin’s transaction capacity , the conversation has become newly contentious as progress on much-hyped solutions continue to face the kinds of delays that perhaps should be expected when working with novel technologies. This lack of progress (real or perceived) has so far most affected bitcoin’s business community, many of which are dependent on technical improvements in the network for additional growth. Indeed, while bitcoin’s primary development group has its share of detractors , the majority of startups and servicer providers continue to support Bitcoin Core and its work. But if one, relatively new bitcoin mining pool has its way, a much anticipated scaling solution could be dead on arrival. In recent weeks, China’s ViaBTC became one of the first providers of mining software to switch its client from the official version provided by Bitcoin Core to an option provided by Bitcoin Unlimited, a rival development group that supports alternative methods of scaling that is focused on creating a more variable bitcoin block size . But unlike Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Unlimited does not have support for that developer group’s signature scaling solution, Segregated Witness, a planned technical fix that would effectively make bitcoin’s block size about 1.8 times larger than it is today by changing how information is counted toward this total. Further, because the rules for Segregated Witness require 95% of bitcoin’s hashing power to approve the transition, ViaBTC could effectively block its wider release. According to, over the past 24 hours, ViaBTC has accounted for 7.3% of the blocks discovered, though this has been as high as 9.6% in recent days. Complicating matters is that despite a consensus of developers suggesting Segregated Witness is the best way to scale […]

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